Medals & awards

Dr. John Fleetwood Student Award

This award is presented at the society’s annual and scientific meeting. It is awarded to an undergraduate student who distinguishes herself or himself as the primary and presenting author of an oral or poster abstract which is judged to be of outstanding merit.

Dr. John Fleetwood was a founding member of the Irish Gerontological Society.  Born in Edinburgh, John Fleetwood graduated in medicine from University College Dublin.  He practiced as a general practitioner in Blackrock Co. Dublin and at Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services in Harold’s Cross.

In 1949, Dr. Fleetwood recognised that knowledge about the social medical care of the elderly in Ireland was scanty.  In pursuit of improving his own knowledge, he attended a meeting of the Medical Society for the Care of the Elderly (later renamed the British Geriatrics Society). In 1950, Dr. Fleetwood attended the International Association of Gerontology (now IAGG) meeting in Liege.  He was elected to its governing body as a delegate of ‘the Irish Gerontological Society’ (IGS).

Following Dr. Fleetwood’s return from Liege, the first meeting of the IGS took place on 23 October 1950.  Six people attended.  Prof. Jerry Jessop, Professor of Physiology at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland was elected as President and Dr. Fleetwood as the society’s first Honorary Secretary.

Professor Davis Coakley Award

This award is presented at the society’s Annual and Scientific Meeting. It is awarded to an individual who distinguishes themselves as the artist of a piece which is judged to be of outstanding merit.

Professor Davis Coakley (1946-2022) was an academic geriatrician of the highest international standing, he championed the development of geriatric medicine throughout the country. As a direct result of his initiatives physicians in the specialty now form the largest subspecialty in medicine in Ireland.  

He made a sterling contribution to the Irish Gerontological Society. Throughout his life, he vigorously promoted the integration of medicine and the humanities, with a particular focus on the literary arts. To honour Professor Coakley’s legacy, the Davis Coakley Award has been established and will be awarded at IGS Annual Scientific Meetings commencing from 2023 onwards, further information is available here.